For this weekâ€™s Thousander Club update:
Game Hours: 262.25 (previous year) + 25.75 (current year) = 288 / 1000
Game Ideas: 616 (previous year) + 0 (current year) = 616 / 1000
On Thursday, I found The Ultimate Space Invaders Shrine which provided a lot of useful information about how the original game was implemented. I haven’t played the original game in a long time, and any games I do play are clones which may or may not be faithful ports. The Shrine had a tips section that gave me a lot of information about how the original game played. I know that the aliens had three different kinds of missiles, that the various aliens were worth different amounts of points, and that the aliens started at a lower point on the screen every level for 10 levels before starting over from the top.
My clone currently mimics the original in that the player can only shoot one missile at a time and the aliens can only shoot three missiles at once. I have not implemented shelters nor have I added a bonus ship flying across the top of the screen at random times. The aliens only have one type of missile, and the player’s missiles can’t hit it. All of the aliens are currently worth the same amount of points. The aliens can’t land yet, so if you manage to let them get past your ship, they will continue until the offset of the sprite hits some limit, and then the game will crash.
I’ve added HUD elements so that you can see how many points you have as well as the number of ships you have in reserve. If you pause the game, “PAUSED” shows up in the middle of the screen. If you shoot down all of the aliens, the message “PREPARE FOR THE NEXT WAVE!” is displayed. If you lose your last reserve ship, it says “GAME OVER”.
I am not sure if I want to make the game exactly the same as the original, and I was planning on doing a few things differently. I would prefer to have some originality in this game. For instance, instead of just starting the aliens lower on the screen and making them a little faster at the start of a new level, I could increase the number of missiles they fire as well as the speed. Maybe I might even let the blast radius matter, so if a missile collides with the ground, you still have to make sure that your ship is far enough away to be safe. Perhaps I might add new alien types with different abilities.
These are important design decisions, so I can’t just add them willy-nilly. I have to think about how I want this game to feel when someone else plays it. In the meantime, I am pleased with how well it is turning out.